Alissa Trotz is an Associate Professor in Women and Gender Studies and the Director of Caribbean Studies at New College.
In addition to her research on the making of gender, race and place in the Caribbean, Professor Trotz has, for the last four years, edited a weekly column called “In the Diaspora,” in the Stabroek News, an independent daily newspaper in Guyana.
“For me, this column is as important as my contributions inside the university classroom, and a weekly deadline I have never missed, because it offers a space to make meaningful connections beyond the academy,” says Professor Trotz.
As both a Caribbeanist and a transnational feminist scholar, the column puts Trotz’s commitments into practice by raising questions each week about politics in the Caribbean and Latin America. At the same time, the column makes a practical and modest contribution towards rethinking what we mean when we use the term “Caribbean.” Several of the pieces have been reproduced in newspapers in Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago, Barbados and St. Lucia, as well as in Caribbean newspapers in Toronto.
“We often associate columns with individual persons who write them each week,” says Trotz. “This column is different; although I edit it, I have tried to make this public space more accessible by encouraging articles from a wide variety of contributors that has included high school, undergraduate and graduate students, cultural producers (musicians, poets and artists), academics, public servants, international civil servants, journalists and activists, from across the Caribbean as well as North America and Europe, many of whom have never done anything like this before!”